Monday, April 19, 2021

S. C. Lawmakers Move Forward on In-Person Learning, Bus Purchases and Protecting Seniors

The House passed a joint resolution that requires all school districts in South Carolina to give an option for five days a week, in-person learning by April 26th. Providing an in-person option allows parents to decide what learning format is the best fit for their student. Additionally, this bill suspends the earning limitation for retired teachers. This ensures that retired teachers can come back to school and teach without fear of too little compensation during these unique times. 
Buying More Busses

Many K-12 students in SC will be getting a better ride with the decision to buy 235 propane-fueled school busses. The $23.6 million price tag will be paid from the remaining from the legal settlement from Volkswagen. A decade ago, SC’s school bus fleet was the oldest in the nation, with some busses on the road for more than 20 years. With the new busses, the fleet will have an average age of five years. More than 3,000 busses have been replaced since 2015.

Revitalizing South Carolina
The South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act” qualifies taxpayers who make certain investments into rehabilitating and revitalizing abandoned property in the State to receive tax credits. This bill is a great incentive for people to bring life to abandoned and run-down areas of our State. This act was set to expire, but the House voted unanimously to renew it. 

Law Enforcement Help
Receiving a favorable vote from a House Judiciary panel is a bill (H.3939) extending workers compensation for law enforcement officers in deadly-force situations to PTSD or other injury caused by stress or mental illness. It is essential that we provide officers with these lifesaving resources to safely and healthily serve our communities. 

Protecting SC Seniors
H. 3180, also known as the Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Registry Act, passed out of a House Subcommittee. This act aims to protect our most vulnerable, elderly populations from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This bill would create a registry for these populations, creating further protections for them in places like nursing homes. 

COVID Vaccine Update

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has identified 155 cases where individuals were diagnosed with COVID after being fully inoculated with a vaccine. According to DHEC, 17 of those patients were hospitalized, and at least one person has died in what they term “breakthrough” infections. 25% of SC residents are fully vaccinated; many more have received their first shot. The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine has been suspended in SC. The state is in Phase 1C of the vaccination process. Under these guidelines, anyone 16+ is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine with an appointment. Meanwhile, DHEC has a warning concerning scammers:

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